No. 80. — Report of Lieut. Col. K. Oscar Broady, 61st New York Infantry.
CAMP NEAR SANDY HOOK, MD.,
July 16, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:
In the forenoon of the 2d instant, my regiment, together with the rest of the brigade, arrived on the field near Gettysburg, Pa., and was halted near and to the left of Cemetery Hill. The brigade was formed in close column by battalion, the Sixty-first New York Volunteers being the second in column, with the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers in front and the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers in the rear. While here, and at a halt, we were occasionally exposed to the enemy’s artillery fire, but without sustaining any loss to our number. About 4 p.m. the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers were removed from the column, leaving the Sixty-first New York in the front.
About 6 p.m. we were marched by the left flank for about half a mile to the front and left of our previous position, when the brigade was formed in line of battle by inversion and faced by the rear rank, thus leaving my command still on the right of the line. We then advanced to the front for about 200 yards, and engaged the enemy, who was mostly sheltered behind a stone-wall fence, used as a breastwork. The enemy’s fire was particularly severe on that part of the line where the Sixty-first New York was posted.
The loss sustained here was 6 commissioned officers wounded, of whom I has since died; 6 enlisted men killed and 50 wounded. Being able to bring into action only 90 muskets, it will be seen I sustained a loss of almost two-thirds of the whole strength.
The wounds received by my men seemed to be of an unusually severe character, and it is to be feared that the greater portion of the wounded will never be fit for active service again.
The engagement lasted about half an hour, when we were relieved by a brigade of the Fifth Corps. Soon after being relieved, I received orders from Lieut. D. K. Cross, on General Caldwell’s staff, to form my command into a guard, and take to the rear 100 prisoners, just brought in by another brigade. Not finding any provost guard anywhere on the road, I had to conduct these prisoners for about 2 miles to the rear, and kept guard over them for the night.
On the morning of the 3d, I left them with 1 lieutenant of my regiment and 16 men as provost guard, and returned with the rest of my command to the front, and joined the brigade, which was then occupying almost the same ground as on the day previous. Having thrown up earthworks in front, we remained here, exposed to a very heavy artillery fire from the enemy during the day, but without any loss to our number.
We continued in this position until the forenoon of the 5th instant, when it was fully ascertained that the enemy had fallen back, and we again resumed the march.
During the whole engagement my command, officers and men, behaved with the utmost coolness and valor. They performed all that could be expected or demanded of time and good soldiers. To particularize would not be just where every man is worthy of praise.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
K. O. BROADY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Sixty-first New York Volunteers.
Lieut. J. B. HALLENBECK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
from Official Records, Series 1, Volume 27, Part 1